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Rashan Charles investigation finds officer 'fell short'

PICTURED: Rashan Charles

AN INVESTIGATION by the Independent Office for Police Conduct into the death of Rashan Charles has found that the performance of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officer who restrained Mr Charles fell short of expected standards.

Mr Charles died on July 22 2017 in the early morning after being chased into a shop in Dalston, east London where CCTV showed a police officer attempting to restrain him on the floor.

The IOPC’s investigation report, published today (Aug 15), was completed in May 2018 and provided to HM Coroner prior to the inquest into Mr Charles’ death. In June an inquest jury concluded that Mr Charles’ death was accidental.

Their investigation claims to have "considered the reasons why police officers attempted to stop the car that Mr Charles was travelling in and the reasons for the stop, attempted search, restraint and use of handcuffs on Mr Charles."

They also looked into the nature of that restraint and the first aid that was subsequently administered.

These issues were examined to see if they were in line with national and local police policies.

From their findings, they concluded that the officer known as BX47 who restrained Mr Charles used "reasonable, necessary and proportionate force during restraint that while the restraint technique used was unorthodox it did not cause any injury to Mr Charles’ throat nor contribute to his death and that BX47 did not follow recognised first aid protocols especially in his delay in calling an ambulance after the restraint when it was evident that Mr Charles may have swallowed something."

IOPC Regional Director for London, Jonathan Green, said: “This was a tragic incident and I cannot begin to imagine the loss that Rashan’s family have suffered. My sympathies remain with them and everyone affected by Rashan’s death.

“We found that Officer BX47 was responsible for some basic failings and although they may not have been the cause of Rashan’s death, I think they do represent a failure to perform his role satisfactorily - either through a lack of competence or capability.

“The evidence suggests that the situation which developed in the shop, did so rapidly, taking the officer by surprise to the extent that he ‘froze’ in circumstances which were difficult, stressful and exhausting.

“These failures, however, were not deliberate and it is acknowledged by witnesses present at the scene, supported by expert evidence gathered in this investigation, that BX47 did his best in difficult circumstances. BX47 also accepted many of these failings at the recent inquest into Rashan’s death.

“Therefore we have decided, and the MPS has agreed, that Officer BX47 be subject to performance procedures to remediate the shortfalls in his performance on this occasion and to improve his competence and capabilities going forward.”

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